Help with Deposits

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Maureen McDonagh

Below are programs that might be able to help you with security deposit costs.

Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT)

RAFT is a government program that helps low-income families avoid homelessness. RAFT can be used to pay for security deposit, first and last month’s rent, bank rent, or utility bills. You must have children living with you or have a disability. RAFT can pay up to $7000 in back rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, future rent, or moving costs if:

  • You are homeless or about to become homeless, and
  • Your income is less than 50% of Area Median Income (or less than 60% of AMI for households who are at risk of domestic violence)

RAFT sends payments to your landlord or mortgage company.

Apply for RAFT funds through Regional Housing Consumer Education Centers.

See the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC)'s RAFT webpage for more information.


HomeBase is a program that offers a fixed amount to homeless families with children and pregnant women who are eligible for the state’s Emergency Assistance (EA) program. The purpose of HomeBASE is to prevent homelessness or to help people moving out of an EA shelter. HomeBASE can be used for a variety of purposes including paying a security deposit, and first and last month’s rent. Families moving into subsidized housing can use HomeBASE for first month, last month rent, and security deposit.65

Private Programs

Some towns have private funds to help people in their towns who have low incomes. Ask at your local church or town hall. You may be able to get some help from the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

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